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invented by the British Mission. Umteiye, our wounded prisoner On this oooasion the bridge being considerably better as went up gloriously, and some the result of the copious of J.'s" tulips" (but, alas! draughts of strong tea and only one of mine) exploded. “Black and White" which
The tender broke å spring. I had given him, against bracket in this adventure, but the advice of one of the carwas admirably and cunningly drivers, who, in virtue of having repaired by one of the drivers, done a St John's Ambulance who blocked it up with scant- Course ten years ago, thought ling. In addition to their he understood medicine. Our other qualities, G. of the roate lay over cultivated armoured cars and his officers ground of rioh loam, mostly and men were "tigers" at barley or maize stubble, which keeping their cars in order made
progress slow. We ander the most adverse ciroum- passed one village-El Taiyibe stanoes, and at exeouting run- —where the very Anatolian ning repairs that would have and non-Arab-looking populabaffled nine motor mechanios tion were not very friendly, out of ten.
and impeded our progress Then, having looted what through their village by olamwas worth taking in the blook. bering like monkeys over the house, we hurried baok to El Cars: steps, mudguards, the Umteiye before the Turks could bonnets of the cars, nothing have time to send the armoured came amiss to them as seats, train that they had in Deraa. and the lightness of their As a matter of fact, Deraa had, fingers_surpassed those of a according to plan, just been Derby Day pickpooket. They bombed by two British flights tried to steal ammunition out of from Palestine, and it was fair the men's bandoliers, drinkingto rely on the Deras command oups, petrol-tins, and anything being in a somewhat disorgan- they could lay hands on-truly ised state—especially as it was a very poisonous set of people. almost their first experience of
We reached the main body being thus treated. The aero. at about 8.30 A.M., just as the planes had passed over us as operation of forcing and cross
on our way down ing the railway north of Deras to the railway, and, as they was commencing. This General ploughed steadily in regular Nuri had decided to do close formation through the steely to the hill Tel Arar, whicb, blue sky, they gave one &
à though well out of rifle-range agrious sense of security and of Deraa, was not too far north British solidity in this wild to make it imposeible to reach, land that we were in. The on the same day, the bridge at message seemed to be, “You Mezerib, on the Deraa-Palestine are all by yourselves, but the branch line, which we wished tu Ball' and his strength aren't blow up. On the railway, near so far off.” At break of day, Tel Arar, was a Turkish sangar, next morning, we left tiwell sand-bagged, and its cocu
pants, & soore or so of Turks, the line and in possession of gave some trouble until the the hill Tel Arar, which made Frenoh mountain - guns oame a sortie of the Daraa garrison into action against it and improbable. The Deraa troops finally smashed it up and killed consisted of a garrison batthe remnants of the garrison, talion, plus a number of men Much more serious was the employed in the railway repairwaspishness of the nine Turk- ing-shops and ordnanoe, and at ish 'planos in Deraa, who the aerodrome, amongst whom bombed and machine-gunned were a considerable proportion us continually
ap- of Boche Unterofficiers and proached and occupied the line. N.C.O.'s. Dar armoured cars They would empty their loads and Ruweilah “cavalry" made of bombs, and then coolly re- it inadvisable for them to leave turn to Deras, alight, and re- the trenches with which the load in our sight, and then town was surrounded, whilst return. The continual crash- an assault by us on the town, ing of what the Arabs graph- apart from the fast that it ically call “boombas" made was no part of our object, the whole affair unpleasantly would have meant far heavier like modern warfare instead of casualties than we could have the bashi-bazouk fighting that evaouated with our limited we understood. However, the medioal resources. So, especibombs caused relatively few ally whilst in possession of Tel casualties, and the Shereefian Arar, we had little to fear regulars were wonderfully from Deraa, except from bombs, steady under this ordeal as but everything to fear from they advanoed slowly doross Damascus and the North, who, the railway. The company sooner or later, must hear of
, who attaoked the blookhouse what had ooourred, especially especially impressed me with as one of the Deraa 'planes had their morale. They had to gone off in that direction, and advance over perfeotly coverless the tremendous explosions, just ground, bombed and machine- north of Tel Arar, where the gunned from above, and under Egyptian Camel Corps demolifire, until our French guns tion party and their Gurkha started, from the Turks be- allies were at work, on the line hind their sandbags; yet they and a bridge, must have been
a kept exoellent order. Deraa giving warning of trouble to possessed, apparently, only one the blookhouses ap the line long-range gun, and I do not north, all of whom were in telethink it caused as a single graphio communication with casualty. Oar own four little Damasous. French gans, save for their As soon as we were over the brief pulverisation of the blook- line, a hurried conference behouse, spent their time in at- tween the various leaders tompting, not very successfully, decided that the Arab regto soare off the 'planes.
ulars, plus those of the At last the column was over Raweilah “cavalry” who felt VOL, CCVII.-NO. MCCLV.
inolined for the adventure, and at us as we stood round contwo of the French guns, should gratulating the airman, repush on, accompanied by L., to turned to Deras, and we were Mezerib, whilst the Egyptian not bothered by them again to Camel Corps and the British any great extent that day. armoured
should hold J. S., the airman, K., and I Tel Arar and the high ground established ourselves on a little opposite on the east of the knoll north of Tel Arar, where railway, a demolition party we got a good view of the continuing to do all the railway line, its shimmering damage possible to the line. telegraph - posts stretching
Just as the conference broke a way towards distant Damasup, one of our 'planes, a B.E.12 cus. On the far horizon, from Azrak, appeared in the westwards, was Mezerib, and distanoe (the other one had in the late afternoon from it been put hors de combat in an oame the sounds of gon-fire, air - fight three days before), followed by the welcome roar and promptly three of the of explosives and a great fire, Deraa 'planes rose to fight him. evidently that of the store of L., grasping the danger the grain and petrol which we airman was in, rushed to get knew was there. This could the “T” landing signal from only mean that our project
neighbouring car, whilst had succeeded, and that north, every one else, Arab, British, south, and west of Deraa the and Frenoh officers and men, sole lines of supply for the worked feverishly at getting Turks' Palestine army had the worst of the boulders off been out, all within the space the only available possible piece of twenty-six hours, and about of landing-ground. Clearly it the same time before Allenby was our airman's only chance was due to attack at midnight of life, as he had nearly finished on the 18-19th. Whatever his petrol, and the three Hal. happened now—and if we our. berstadts were closing in on selves were out off and finished him and subjecting him to a our excursion as prisoners in raking fire, to which he re- Damasous, which seemed at sponded as well as he could, the moment quite likely-the coming lower every minute. Turks would be hampered by He landed without being bit, the faot that at least sixty but in “taxying" crashed into hours must elapse before com
of the few remaining munications could be restored, boulders that we hadn't re- and hampered at a time when moved, orumpling up his they were going to experience machine, but escaping with the heaviest bombardment and only a few soratohes himself. strongest attack of the whole His life was undoubtedly saved eighteen months' Palestine by L.'s forethought and his campaign. coolness. The
enemy Night oame with no aotual 'planes, after one bomb at the news from L. and the column, orashed machine, and a few bat about 11 P.M. & messenger vindiotive spitfire tracer-bullets arrived from the Arab officer
oommanding the escort to the and myself (the former armed two French guns on Tel Arar, with
aeroplane Lewis saying that he and the French gan, to which he had been gunner officer had orders to affectionately
affeotionately olinging since join the main column for an his crash), should make for the attaok at dawn on another train and try and capture it. bridge, and that Mezerib Our previous experience of Station, together with its the miserable half-starved stores, rolling-stock, and two Armenians and Syrians who lorries, had been taken and did navvy work for the Turks burnt. The message suggested did not lead us to believe that that the armoured oars and resistance would be very fortenders with J. and the rest midable. Off we went, and as of as should retire to El we got nearer, we
8&w the Umteiye, where the column seven or eight men who were would return within the next working on the broken bridge, thirty-six hours. This, after a which had & scaffold on it, very weary time all through rush back to the train, seemthe rest of the night and most ingly in great confusion and of the next morning, getting alarm. When about 1500 yards the “tenders” over the rail. away we stopped, and it was way moving a car at night decided that the airman,"
( over & roadless country is the with his beloved gun, and I, height of unpleasantness, espe- should proceed on foot to a cially when you never know very good position in front, when you may be attacked) which seemed to be well within and colleoting the armoured rifle-fire of the train. Meanosrs and the Egyptian Camel while the armoured car was Corps, we did, reaobing El to go round to & flank and Umteiye at noon; our friends machine - gan the occupants
; of the previous day, the hooli- from the same spot from which gans of Taiyibe village, speed. it had attacked the Turks on ing our parting with several the 16th. Hardly, however, shots at the rearguard. had the airman and I set out Arrived at El Umteiye, lunch than there were come puffs of
first consideration smoke from an innocent-lookafter a breakfastless morning, ing box-truok, and a couple of and we had soaroely finished “whizz-bangs
hurtled over it when information came that our heads and landed unpleasa train, apparently a construo- antly olose to our tender. As tion train with a repair gang, we could obviously do nothing was stationary on the line against a train with guns on south of Deraa, close to where board, we pooketed our dignity, we had destroyed the bridge boarded our car, and in com. two days previously. This pany with the armoured oar was too good an opportunity pelted across the plain for for our guerilla band to lose, home. Thanks to Messrs and it was decided that an Rolls-Royce, Ltd., both oars armoured oar, accompanied by accepted unoomplainingly the & tender with the airman ordeal of being driven at about
forty miles an hour over ground late in the season, and El every yard of which had enough Umteiye was sufficiently high water-channels and large stones up to produce bitterly cold to smash the axles and springs nights), there came the sound of most cars when proceeding of shelling very much nearer, at a crawl. Until out of range, followed by several white puffs the train's two gans shelled us of smoke over the skyline towith very fair acouraoy, but wards Deraa. This woke J., without å hit. It was one of S., and “the airman," who, the few occasions that brother like me, had been sleeping the Turk round Deraa way had sleep of complete exhaustion, reason to smile in those few and we all sorambled up and days, and when we reached El hurried off to a neighbouring Umteiye, our brother bue- ridge, from where we could caneers were full of inquiries see the rest of the column reas to where the prisoners were, turning, according to plan, to and how many “tulips we rejoin us at El Umteiye, and had planted, having witnessed being shelled by our friends of our disoomfiture from afar!!! the night before, the guns on
Sleep that night was very the train. They were, howweloome after forty hours of ever, on our side of the line, excitement without it, and I and so there was not much to did not wake until well after be feared. dawn. From the ground where Presently L. and his bodyI lay one got a fine view west- guard arrived, none the worse ward across the rolling plateau for forty-eight hours' almost to the railway and beyond to continuous "trekking” and the dim outline of the Pales- fighting. He told us that they tinian hills, and the first sound had failed to destroy the big that oame to my ears was the bridge, but had made a comdull “thud, thudding" of dis- plete end of Mezerib, and tant gun-fire. It was muoh the smashed the line there to some same indistinot bat arresting purpose; also, they had again booming in one's ears that I blown up the railway south of had heard more than onoe that Deraa, thus imprisoning oor sammer at home in Sussex on gan-train between two missing leave, when there was a big bridges, and got back with attack in Flanders, and it was very few casualties. L. had obviously the aftermath of just seen an enemy 'plane land Allenby's attack which had near the railway, apparently begun some seven hours pre- because of engine trouble, and viously. A few minutes later, was anxious to return immeAs I lay propped on one elbow, diately with an armoured car drinking my morning cup of and attack it. This he did,
. 0000a, and trying to solve the accompanied by “the airman, problem of doing so without whose zest for adventure had divesting myself of my blan- been by no means cooled by kets, or exposing more than my his experiences in the last mouth and hand to the cold of forty-eight hours. Arrived at the morning (it was sufficiently the spot, they proceeded to